Miniature Icelandic forest creatures enjoying a camp fire folk festival.
Amiina were one of my favourite accidental finds over a decade ago with their debut album ‘Kurr’ but after their 2011 follow up ‘Puzzle’, they’ve been relatively quiet on the album front. ‘AnimaminA’ is a long-awaited return EP since 2016 and the quirky string and tuned percussion collective have hit back with style.
It is difficult to truly convey how delicate and measured Amiina’s music is but opener ‘Skakka’ is the perfect introduction. A cavern wind, a spitting log fire and a mixture of warm metallic bells and Theremin like synth (or possibly a twisted string arrangement) all come together in mystery. The track is all about its delicate touch and swirling mystique and the atmosphere is nailed. It is this kind of gentile quirky faun music that Amiina specialise in. ‘Hemipode’ adds in the strings and zithers that their early albums revelled in to create a clumsy but majestic folk lullaby.
Music box twinkles and drops of muted xylophone styled instruments swimming in reeds make up the dreamy ‘Fjarkanistan’. It is the kind of track new classical musicians would be lauded for but Amiina has been making this kind of magic for decades. You feel like a slow-motion ballerina captured in a single moment. The EP ends with the neoclassical ‘Blaskjar’ where zither, strings and wiry guitar mesh together with bird song in a magical midnight stargazing session as the sunrises. The first two tracks of the EP are beautiful and mysterious. The latter two tracks are beautiful and melodic.
AnimaminA just makes me yearn for more from Amiina. The EP is a beautiful taster for more delicate midnight crystalline journeys and warm hugs. As uplifting as it is delicate, there is no one out there making music quite like this. Don’t stay away too long.
Recommended track: Hemipode
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